By: Judy Shields
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) October 29, 2015 – “I have always wanted to go on a cattle drive like John Wayne and sing the great old songs of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Sons of The Pioneers, so I decided to call on some friends and make it happen.” David Frizzell told The Hollywood Times today during a telephone conversation.
Frizzell & Friends Roundup will air as a TV special on RFD-TV on November 2nd at p.m. ET / p.m. Central. A CD and DVD combo featuring songs and actual footage of the stars on their cattle drive adventure is also set for release on November 2 on Frizzell’s Nashville America Records label. Frizzell & Friends Roundup was produced by David Frizzell and features some of music’s finest stylists and story tellers.
The Hollywood Times had the opportunity to speak with David Frizzell during a phone interview today.
THT: How long has it been a dream of yours to go on a cattle drive?
DF: Just as long as I can remember, I have always loved John Wayne, he was one of my heroes, which I have several heroes, but John Wayne is on the top of my list. Gene Autry, who I met a couple of times and Roy Rogers, which I had the opportunity to play in a concert a couple of times. I always wanted to do a cattle drive ever since I saw the movie “Red River” with Walter Brennan, John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. I got the opportunity to do it and I jumped on it.
THT: How did you prepare yourself?
DF: (He laughed pretty good) There were those that went ahead of them to check things out and setting up the ranch and they had about 30 horses and they found some really good riding horses for us and we hoped aboard them with real wranglers and started riding.
THT: Who came up with the song there were sung at the campsite?
DF: Most of the song were my idea, because I loved Roy and watching him picking and singing around the campfire, so I called Rex Allen Jr. up, a good friend of mine for a long time and Lacy J. Dalton, who I have known for a long time and asked them to join me up there and sing one of their favorite cowboy songs. I have written a song called “I wish we had heroes” a song influenced by John Wayne, which I sing on the show. We had a great time up there singing.
David Frizzell told me that there are three parts to the show, the first part being the actual cattle drive to move the cattle from one area on the open range to another. The second part of the show is the around the campground that evening under the Montana moon, which was so beautiful and we had to film that moon. John Wayne would have been proud of us riding the range all day long and signing campfire songs all night. That part was filmed in Custer, Wyoming. The third part was a couple of days later in Round Up, Montana, which is north of Billings, where the whole city showed up and the mayor came out and gave me a key to the city and they were so excited to have us there as we were just as excited to be there!
THT: Describe the first night signing around the campfire with your friends?
DF: We had this beautiful fire and we positioned ourselves around that fire with our guitars and I started it off with signing “Have I told you lately that I love you” by Gene Autry and it went on from there with each of them taking on a song that they had learned from the occasion. Lacy J. Dalton sang “Home on the Range” and Rex Allen Jr. sang “Ride Cowboy Ride” and Marty Haggard said “Back in the Saddle Again” is was an amazing bunch of songs. Everybody made them their own and had a great time and anyone that has ever done that would do it again.
David Frizzell is hoping to come out to Los Angeles for the holidays in December and The Hollywood Times hopes to meet him and his lovely wife of 25 years, Jo, as well. David just celebrated a birthday in Sept and his 25th wedding anniversary and Jo’s birthday was in early October, so they have been in celebration mode. They were able to party on their tour bus and Jo is his road manager and makes sure everything is handled to get them where they need to be.
It was a great pleasure to have had the opportunity to speak with Mr. David Frizzell, a true country legend.
With award-winning hit makers, Lacy J. Dalton, Rex Allen Jr. and Marty Haggard, as well as singer/songwriters Larry Woods and Mike Morgan, Frizzell fulfilled his lifelong dream of an “Old West” cattle drive on the plains of Montana. Complete with good friends and good music. The week long journey included nights by the campfire, a live concert performance, and just a few saddle sores.
Lacy J. Dalton is known for legendary million-airplay hits including “Hard Times,” “Crazy Blue Eyes,” the worldwide hit, “Black Coffee,” and her signature song, “16th Avenue,” the anthem for Nashville songwriters which was voted among Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 Country Songs of all time.
Rex Allen Jr. is a Western Music Hall of Fame member and legendary entertainer. He’s the namesake heir of Hollywood’s last singing cowboy who has made his own legendary mark with more than 50 hit songs like “Lonely Street,” and “Two Less Lonely People.” He starred on TNN’s The Statler Brothers Show for 9 years.
Marty Haggard is arguably the world’s biggest fan of his dad, Merle Haggard, whom Marty calls “the best country singer/songwriter ever.” Marty’s own career includes a nomination as Best New Male Vocalist in the wake of his song, “Trains Make me Lonesome.” In addition to touring with his dad, Marty has toured with his own band and recorded for Dimension and MTM Records.
Rounding out the entertainment are singer/songwriters and Western storytellers, Larry Woods and Mike Morgan.
Of the new project, Frizzell says, “I think John Wayne would’ve been proud of us; riding all day and singing all night out on the Montana range.” The group met in Custer and ended up in Roundup, Montana, filming along the way and performing a concert. It’s all been edited for the RFD-TV special, and for a recorded project that includes two CD’s (one with campfire songs, the other with the live concert performance), plus a DVD of the TV special with added “behind the scenes” bonus footage.
“If you listen real close, you can hear his name whispered in the wind. I wish we had heroes like John Wayne again.” — David Frizzell
Frizzell & Friends Roundup
RDF-TV ~ Monday, November 2, 2015
p.m. Eastern / p.m. Central
Here’s a YouTube video for your viewing enjoyment:
Frizzell & Friends Roundup CD/DVD Combo AVAILABLE NOV. 2
About David Frizzell
Just like Hank Williams, Jr. he’s standing in the shadows of a very famous man, but David Frizzell became a country star in his own right during the ’80s. The younger brother of country legend Lefty Frizzell, David bears a haunting resemblance to his older brother. David was born September 26, 1941, in El Dorado, AK. At the age of 12, he hitchhiked to California to join Lefty, who added the youth to his show and persuaded Columbia to sign him in 1958. Nothing came of the deal, however, and David spent the ’60s touring with his brother, recording for several minor labels and spending time in the Air Force. He returned to Columbia in 1970 and placed two singles on the country charts, including the Top 40 entry “I Just Can’t Help Believing.” (B.J. Thomas took it to the pop Top Ten the same year.)
Frizzell moved to Nashville a year later and recorded for the Cartwheel label. Just after he joined Buck Owens’ All American TV Show in 1973, Frizzell signed a contract with Capitol and recorded two modest hits, “Words Don’t Come Easy” and “Take Me One More Ride.” After some mid-’70s recordings for RSO and MCA, he joined his younger brother Allen and Allen’s wife Shelly West on a tour around the Southwest.
David and West recorded some material, and their single “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” was included on Clint Eastwood’s 1981 film Any Which Way You Can; it topped the country chart early that year. “A Texas State of Mind” hit number nine in June, and the duo closed out 1981 with “Husbands and Wives,” a Top 20 hit. The following year, Frizzell and West hit the Top Ten again on the strength of “Another Honky-Tonk Night on Broadway” and “I Just Came Here to Dance.” They won numerous Duo of the Year awards beginning that year.
Jump started by his duet success, Frizzell hit number one as a solo act in 1982 with “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home,” from Family’s Fine, but This One’s All Mine. His next two singles, “Lost My Baby Blues” and “Where Are You Spending Your Nights These Days,” hit the Top Ten during 1982-1983. He recorded only one more Top 40 single, “A Million Light Beers Ago,” but Frizzell and West had back-to-back hits in 1984: “Silent Partners” and “It’s a Be Together Night.” Frizzell continued to record during the ’80s, for Nashville America, Compleat, and BFE.
The Country music legend has a well-earned reputation for his distinctive delivery of hits like “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino” and “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” for his energetic stage presence, and for gathering some of his most gifted friends for collaborative and entertaining live and recorded projects, like the acclaimed Buddy Holly Country Tribute (Nashville America Records 2014).